Kirkuk-Baghdad road, a deathtrap

August 22, 2017 at 10:13 pm

A truck involved in an accident (photograph: Shvan Mohammad, 6 April 2017)

Mohammad Almas

The Kirkuk-Baghdad road has become dangerously unsafe where trucks and the potholes left behind by explosion of IEDs are threatening drivers to an extent that the road has earned the road of death nickname.

“This is not a road, it is destroyed, and we go on this road because there is no other option, there are tens of potholes and our lives are not safe,” said Jassim Mohammad who drives a taxi between Baghdad and Kirkuk. “The holes left behind as a result of IED explosions have not been cleared and repaired and it is a busy road.”

Kirkuk-Baghdad road is 255km long and links up the northern provinces to Baghdad. In mid 2014, Islamic State took over parts of the road and laid and detonated a large number of IEDs.

“The trucks have also contributed to the increase in accidents,” said Abu Mustafa another driver. “They have too much load and drive fast and endanger the lives of other drivers.”

The Tuz Khormatoa-Amerli leg of the way is considered the most dangerous. In two days alone on 19th and 20th of this month 10 people died and 12 were wounded in accidents. Six of those died in one accident, were from the same family.

Zhenon Karim of Tuz Khormato traffic police says they arrested the driver of the truck who caused the incident in what ch six members of one family died. Karim stated that the state of the road and the large number of trucks on the road are the main reasons for the large number of deadly accidents on the Kirkuk-Baghdad road.

According to Traffic police data, within the first six months of this year, 56 people lost their lives and 73 were wounded in 113 accidents on Kirkuk-Baghdad road.

Colonel Ayad Awad of Kirkuk police said they have a new plan to reduce the number of accidents on the road by imposing more fine on those drivers who do not abide by the rules and incr are the number if road safety signs.

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